Breastfeeding your baby is one of the most important things you can do for her health, and for yours.
But there are several ways in which breastfeeding can be sabotaged during your hospital stay, however brief, and in those first few pediatrician appointments.
Breastfeeding is a learned activity for both mom and baby, and often takes some time to perfect. [infant feeding]
Here are some things to be cautious of when your baby is born.
- Chances are your hospital, obstetrician, or pediatrician will give you one or more gift bags containing formula. Take the formula, and donate it to a local battered women’s shelter or food bank. It’s all too easy to succumb to the use of formula if it is there and available, especially when you’re both tired.
- Let your baby have unrestricted suckling at your breast. As long as your baby is properly latched on, you should have minimal nipple soreness. As long as your position is comfortable and baby’s weight is properly supported, baby should be able to stay latched on for long periods of time without tiring either of you. Unrestricted suckling will also encourage the development of your milk supply.
- Ask that your baby be given no artificial nipples. Do not use a pacifier or other dummy nipple.
- Ask that your baby not be given any glucose water. If your baby’s blood sugar is low, ask to try nursing the baby first.
- Ask that your baby not be given any supplemental feedings. It is normal for babies to lose weight initially. Know how many wet diapers your baby should be having, and keep track so that you will know if your baby is getting enough milk.
- During labor and delivery, ask to drink liquids and avoid receiving fluids via i.v (intravenous therapy). This can artificially inflate the baby’s birth weight, making her initial weight loss appear greater than it actually is.
- Find a good lactation consultant (or 2) before your baby is born. Breastfeeding is a very personal act, and if one lactation consultant doesn’t make you feel supported and encouraged, try someone else.